Xiaomi Mi MIX includes Microsoft's Cortana assistant

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Microsoft's mobile ventures have been less-than-successful over the past few years. But the Cortana assistant -- also baked into the wider Windows product line -- certainly holds its own verus Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. As part of Redmond's pact with Xiaomi, the much-hyped Mi MIX bundles Cortana as standard, along with several other recognized Microsoft utilities. 

In the run-up to Xiaomi's announcement event late in October, all eyes were on the Mi Note 2. But the 6.4-inch ceramic Mi MIX comfortably stole the show with its truly unique design and high-end innards. Though it runs Xiaomi's MIUI atop Google's Android, there's plenty of Microsoft influence thrown into the bargain. 

As you may have heard, Xiaomi recently snagged a bunch of patents from Microsoft. A real boon for the Chinese firm's efforts to conquer the lucrative Western market, the deal also meant that select Microsoft apps would be pre-installed on Xiaomi handsets. With the Mi MIX now reaching early adopters after an epic flash sale, it seems that quite a lot of Redmond bloatware software is on board.

Along with Cortana, owners get the main Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. This isn't the first time Cortana has been rolled out to an Android smartphone -- the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 also received the AI bundle earlier this year through a Cyanogen OS update. The Mi MIX is the first non-Windows handset to roll with Cortana out of the box, however.

Prospective Mi MIX owners -- will you be taking advantage of Cortana et al? Let us know what you make of this in the comments. 

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